Marubeni to work on geothermal in the south of Ethiopia

Alexander Richter 24 Tem 2009

Ethiopia has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japanese Marubeni Corporation, for survey work for Aluto-Langano Geothermal Power Development project in south Ethiopia.

Reported locally, “The Ministry of Mines and Energy (MoME) has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a Japanese company, Marubeni Corporation, for survey work for Aluto-Langano Geothermal Power Development project in south Ethiopia.”

This could be potentially be a huge step towards geothermal development in the country, which has great resources in geothermal.

“Mines and energy minister Alemayehu Tegenu and company’s East Africa representative, Hisao Ikegai signed the agreement.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, the minister said Ethiopia has an overall estimated 5,000 mega watt geothermal resource potential and ten of the potential areas have already been identified.

He said the Aluto-Langano, which has capacity to generate an estimated 7.5 mega watt electric energy, is one of the various potential areas.

“Although Ethiopia has considerable geothermal resource potential, it has many challenges to utilize this renewable and clean source of energy,” the minister said, adding Japan is showing its solidity in helping Ethiopia with this regard.

The minister noted that Japan has been playing significant role to help Ethiopia develop the sector and has already provided training for 15 Ethiopian professionals in geothermal exploration and development.

“The memorandum of understanding would lay better foundation for stronger, better and sustainable cooperation in the sector between Ethiopia and Japan,” he underscored.

Marubeni Corporation East Africa General Manager, Hisao Ikegai said Ethiopia has very rich potential in the geothermal underground power in its various locations within the Great Rift Valley region.

The manager said the area can generate power that can be counted in thousands of mega watts.

The company and the Japanese government put eye on this area,” he pointed out.

The manager expressed desire that Ethiopia can manage to generate geothermal energy from the Great Rift Valley areas from which the neighboring Kenya is generating more than 300 mega watt energy.

“Kenya has started geothermal power generation 20 years ago and now generate more than 300 mega watt energy…, Then why not in Ethiopia?” he said.

Ethiopia has been making strong efforts do develop its sources of energy in all sectors so as to meet the growing demand for energy following the two-digit successive economic growth over the past six years. ”

Source: Ethiopian review